The big sleep


Late to bed, and early to rise, makes the Maiden healthy, if health can be measured by the boundless a.m. exuberance directed at the lump of sleeping flesh that calls itself her mother when it reluctantly wakes.  It makes her wealthy, if wealth can be measured by the toys, food, and privileges lavished upon her by said sleeping lump in exchange for 15 more minutes of quiet.  It makes her wise, if wisdom can be measured by the sheer variety of the excuses/requests/antics she pulls out of her bedtime arsenal each night.

Apparently, she’s doing just fine. I, on the other hand, am not.

Late to bed and verrrrry late to rise makes ME healthy, wealthy and wise.  I’ve got the late to bed down pat; I’m due for congratulations if I’m in bed with the lights out by 12:15 a.m.  The morning part– well, that’s another story. Due to the conflicting schedules and daylight perceptions of the Maiden and me, my verrrrry late rising is verrrrry infrequent (see sleeping lump, above).  Hence, I am almost never healthy or wise.  Or wealthy.  And I blamed the economy!

The problem is, my complaints are falling on deaf ears, and not just the Maiden’s.  History and justice, sadly, are on her side.

Once upon a time, a mother had a little girl.  The little girl did not like to go to bed.  The little girl liked to spend as little time in bed as possible.  So she begged and pleaded her way to a later bedtime, and when her mother put her foot down and made her go, the little girl spent hours playing in bed before she decided it was an appropriate hour for sleep.  She was up again at the crack of dawn.  Her mother hoped that someday she’d change.  She didn’t.

Then, 20-some years later, the little girl was all grown up with a little girl of her own.  Amazingly, the new little girl had the identical sleep habits.  Or, more accurately, the identical lack-of-sleep habits.  This new little Energizer Bunny ran full-steam on significantly less sleep than her tired mother could handle.  History sat back and relaxed.  Justice had been accomplished.

The original little girl was not impressed.

I wonder if my mother ever secretly hoped– when she heard my pitter-patter at 6 a.m.– that I would grow up to have a child just like me.  I know I cherish that hope for my own dear daughter– it’s the only thing that gets me out of bed in the mornings.  Well, that and the force of the Maiden’s fingers physically prying open my eyelids.  It’s hard to argue with brute force.

Someday, it will happen.  The grown-up Maiden will call me in distress over her sleepless child.  I’ll offer sincerest sympathies.  I’ll totally mean them.  I’m not being sarcastic.  Really.  I promise.

But then.  Then I’ll hang up the phone, and call my mother.  And we’ll both scream with laughter.

For once, that elusive “cosmic payback” will be on my side.

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